QUETTA: The law enforcement agencies are still clueless about the location of Dr Rajesh Kumar who was kidnapped in broad daylight from Quetta on February 13.
Kumar is the son of Dr Nand Lal, a member of the Quetta chapter of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the Pak-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy.
Sources close to the relatives of Kumar said that the kidnappers had established contact with them and demanded Rs20 million as ransom initially. Later they reduced the amount to Rs10 million.
Being unable to arrange the ransom money, Kumar’s family asked “what should we do? We know that police won’t do anything as all those who had been kidnapped earlier were only freed after ransom was paid to their kidnappers.”
“We want the kidnappers to reduce the amount. The family cannot pay Rs10 million,” a relative told The Express Tribune.
The Express Tribune made frequents calls to reach the senior police officials investigating the case for comments but in vain. “Deputy Inspector General (DIG-Operations) is busy and I will ask him if he is willing to comment on this issue or not and will let you know,” a police official said, after attending the call on his behalf.
According to the HRCP Balochistan chapter, as many as 34 Hindu people mostly traders were kidnapped from different parts of Balochistan since 2011. “Few are still in captivity of the kidnappers while others were released after payment of a huge amount as ransom to kidnappers,” Tahir Hussain, Vice Chairman HRCP Balochistan told The Express Tribune.
Another Hindu trader Ganga Ram was kidnapped from Lasbela a week ago but police are yet to trace his whereabouts.
The HRCP urged the government to take appropriate steps to stop the kidnappings of Hindu traders and said that the Hindus were specific targets.
However, Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Basant Lal Gulshan said his two workers, who were kidnapped in March, were released without paying any ransom money. “Vinod Kumar and Sono Kumar were kidnapped in March and released after 15 days. Their safe recovery was made possible with the help of tribal leaders and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Gulshan though added his workers were not recovered but had been released by their captors. “Most of the Hindu people pay ransom money but these two were released without payment.”
According to a former senior police officer in Balochistan, there is a lack of senior police officers in Balochistan that is leading to this deteriorating situation. “The grade 17 to 18 police officers are serving on grade 20 posts. There are no senior officers,” he said. “The senior officials are needed to control crime,” he added.